Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thomas Edison: Did He or Didn't He?

It’s common knowledge among those in the paranormal community that Thomas Edison talked about building a machine to communicate with the dead. Whether or not, it was just talk is still open to debate…In the following quote Edison is referring to his work with the motion picture camera when he says, "I believe that in coming years, by my own work and that of Dickson, Muybridge, Marey, and others who will doubtless enter the field, grand opera can be given at the Metropolitan Opera House at New York without any material change from the original, and with artists and musicians long since dead."

He did not mean that the stage of the opera house would be given over to ghosts but rather that images of the living would remain forever on film. Recently we’ve seen an example with Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in the Dark Knight.

Could it be that the inventor was thinking along the same lines for his sound equipment?

Did he have a hand in designing or operating the box that is called the Thomas Edison Telephone to the Dead? Personally, I don’t think so. Just as I doubt that Edison sits on the other side eagerly awaiting his next trans-death communication through the box…IMHO it’s arrogance to assume that any of the great minds, once they’ve transitioned, have nothing better to do than regularly communicate with us. When he was alive Edison was careful who he permitted into his laboratory. According to an article in Modern Mechanix October 1933, his experiment dealing with ghosts was conducted in secrecy with only a few scientists and Spiritualists present. The experiment failed dismally.

Even today decades after his death, Edison’s name adds credibility to the claim of a so called telephone to the dead. Even though Thomas Edison gave interviews in which he claimed to be working on a machine that would communicate with the dead, no prototype has ever been discovered. Nor have any notes that mention the device been found among the millions of his papers. One thing is certain, if Edison had a retinue of attorneys guarding the rights to his the name the way Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley do, his name would probably not be affixed to any so called telephone. Not without costly name licensing that is.

An article in Fate Magazine April 1963 tells of a séance in which Edison was contacted. During this séance, he supposedly told where the prototype could be found…

Though he later denied it, Edison joined the Theosophical Society in 1877. One of the society’s beliefs was reincarnation and Edison had his own particular views on reincarnation.

At age 63 Edison said, “When a man is dead, he is dead! My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it."
These words hardly seem like those of someone who was interested in afterlife communication. Granted, they don’t seem like those of a man who believed in reincarnation either. However, eleven years later when asked by a reporter what his thoughts on death were, Edison’s viewpoint seems to have changed.
“We say a man dies. Perhaps, in a sense, the term is accurate when the aggregate which we have called a man ceases to function as an aggregate and, therefore, no longer can be called a man; but the expression is not at all accurate if by it we mean that the life which kept that man at work or play ceases to exist. Life does not cease to exist.
Certainly a man of many contradictions, did he actually build a machine to communicate with the dead? What’s your thoughts?

1 comment:

BatBoy said...

I will not bore you (unless you want me to) with all of my years of research on this very subject. But I can assure you there is no connection between Thomas Edison and any so-called telephone to the dead or the ever popular Psychophone.

Long-winded explanations by request only on the subject.